Monday, May 10

Tag: WhatsApp

Liberia has blocked social media as protesters demand the return of missing millions
Social Networks, West Africa

Liberia has blocked social media as protesters demand the return of missing millions

Thousands of Liberians descended on the capital Monrovia today to protest the corruption that has bedeviled president George Weah’s administration. The government’s response: blocking social media outlets. The internet monitoring organization NetBlocks said platforms including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook were blocked to subdue the protests. While the cut-off didn’t impact all providers, restrictions affected mobile internet provider Orange Liberia and internet service provider Lonestar. The social media shutdown was confirmed by assessing user measurements in the Liberian capital and in collaboration with the digital advocacy Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa. Dubbed “Save The State,” the anti-government protests come just over a year after...
Southern Africa

Zimbabweans Are Calling For Help, But No One Can Hear Them

NAIROBI — WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have been blocked in Zimbabwe amid huge anti-government protests and a brutal police crackdown. Zimbabweans have been unable to access nearly all social media platforms since Tuesday, when the government issued a total internet shutdown. Doctors say they have treated nearly 70 people for gunshot wounds, with reports of random arrests by the police and military, and demonstrators being beaten in the streets. The internet blackout caused thousands of Zimbabweans to rely on location-masking virtual private networks (VPNs) in order to stay connected. Those who managed to get online made desperate calls for help. Continue reading photo Jekesai Njikizana / AFP / Getty Images
Central Africa, East Africa, Nigeria, Southern Africa, Tech Policy, West Africa

Zimbabwe’s internet blackout shows how powerless major telcos are against governments

Internet access was restored in Zimbabwe late on Wednesday, but on Thursday WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter remained inaccessible. More than 600 people were arrested this week as police armed with AK-47 rifles rounded up protestors, according to the Associated Press. At least six people were killed when the military was deployed to quell protests against high fuel prices on Monday. Amnesty International reported eight deaths, while the Association of Doctors for Human Rights reported treated 68 cases of gunshot wounds and more than 100 other cases of assaults. A tense calm returned on Thursday. Zimbabweans were protesting a fuel hike that would see the price of petrol and diesel rise by 150%in a country that already had fuel shortages. Amid the violent crackdown on pro...